Pro Gu guru
Imagine my surprise, after reading Alastair Bland's article on energy gels for athletes ("Ew, It's Gu," May 12), when I came to the paragraph where the author relays his own experience riding in long cycling events. The quizzical moment was not because he had indeed thrown a leg over a bike in the first place—but more that he wrote an entire piece accusing other cyclists who eat something other than "real food" of littering. Not to mention the assumptions regarding energy gel nutrition without having tried them! In the great word of Homer Simpson, "D'oh!"
It is clear the Alastair is simply bereft of the facts in most areas. Here are some: Energy gels are highly absorbable, fast-acting energy meals. In races and rides, 95 percent of cyclists store the spent wrappers in their pockets and do not throw them away. Energy gels are not meant to replace "real food" long-term, but to get you calories fast and efficiently—try eating a meatball sandwich when you're going full throttle. Your body can absorb approximately 300 to 400 calories per hour, yet it can burn over 1,000 calories per hour—thus the need for fast-acting energy, and lots of it. Most cyclists, racers and triathletes do eat something other than gels during a longer event.
Google "ABC Trash Rides" and take a look at your local cyclists and racers who are tackling our country-road trash problems out of their own pockets and of their own time.
Fun readI just finished reading Dani Burlison's "Not-So-Easy-Rider" (May 12) and immediately rushed to my computer to send this to you. I laughed out loud several times as I read the candid account of the trials of her training and her epic century ride. Not only was it hilarious, but a great reminder for everyone that we are all usually capable of more than we think. Thanks for the inspiration and the fun read!
Fellow Suffering Cyclist Carrie Cheadle
A Vital Cultural Fact
I have always said that the most important thing in America is tits, so it's great to see that the women cited in the production of your May 12 cover understand this vital cultural fact. Thanks, Bohemian! More!!
Dept. of Arboreal Sub-Dom Kinks
Our fair and estimable wine writer James Knight enjoys corresponding with his editor, exchanging the odd bon mots and delicate missives of love. Regarding my edit of his Hartford Family Winery review ("Swirl," May 12), in which his original text was somehow—mysteries abound—changed to "leather" rather than his intended "butter," he drubs: "Good God! It's Chardonnay! It's butter and oak, buttered toast, popcorn, lumber and dairy, sawmill and cream puff, cow and Quercus! 'Leather and oak' sounds like some kind of arboreal sub-dom kink that we don't want to hear about." Merely saying I'm sorry may not be butter enough, but his metaphor does bring up some interesting Ren Faire memories . . .
Yet the apologies don't end there! On p38 of last week's calendar, the InDIYpendent Culture Faire in Napa was mysteriously assigned to a location at JV Wine & Spirits, obviously a very independent decision. Apologies to those who might have trekked to the wrong locale, and to the good, if somewhat mystified, folks at JV.
Forever tilting at sawmills and cream puffs